You are watching: What do the red and green lights on a boat mean
The colored lights--red, green, blue, yellow and white--are navigation and also special-purpose lights. They administer an observer with details on the type and dimension of the courage sighted, its activities and size to aid prevent collisions between vessels.
Most navigating lights space "steady," that is, they don"t flash. Flashing lights--yellow and also blue--are special-purpose lights marking submarines, hovercraft, police boats and also public company boats. A triangle of eco-friendly lights is a minesweeper at work.
A steady red light marks the harbor (left) next of a boat; a steady green light marks the starboard (right). White lights room masthead lamp or stern lamp on the ago of the boat. They do the watercraft visible in ~ night. A secure yellow irradiate marks the stern (back) that a tug pushing barges.
The place of the lamp on a boat has significance. Big ships have white lights on two masts. The front mast irradiate is the lower of the 2 white lights, do it feasible to phone call which means a delivery is moving.
The size, type, color and visibility that a ship"s colored lights is dictated through the U.S. Coast Guard navigating Rules. The navigation Rules consist of of two sets the regulations, one for worldwide waters and also one because that inland waters.
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Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired delivery captain, Charpentier hold a doctorate in used ocean science and engineering. That is likewise a certified maritime technician and also the writer of a popular text top top writing neighborhood history.